This free open-source tool can save a partition that's been overwritten and recover lost files. data recovery
Alex Campbell | @alexthejourno Tech Hacker, PCWorld
Oct 24, 2016 3:30 AM
There’s one big event that can trigger an overwhelming sense of dread when you’re installing an OS on a friend or family member’s PC: data loss. It’s bad enough when it happens to your own data, but when it’s someone else’s machine, the feeling can be unbearable.
I know because that’s the situation I found myself in during a recent family reunion in upstate New York. I was attempting to install Ubuntu 16.04 alongside a Windows 7 installation on my mother's laptop. And not thinking (I shamefully admit), I failed to make a backup of her data before I resized her Windows partition. It wasn’t until I tried to boot back into Windows 7 that realized what I had done.
After a mild panic attack and several assurances to her that I could fix it, I found the program that saved my butt: TestDisk. TestDisk has been around for a while, and was even reviewed by PCWorld in 2011. It works like a charm, but does so without the aid of a flashy GUI. It turns out it’s in the official Ubuntu repositories that ship with Ubuntu 16.04. (It’s also available in the Arch Linux Extra repo.)